God makes many promises throughout the Bible. And you and your spouse can rely on every one of them, because the power of a promise depends on the one who makes it. There’s no better promise to trust than one made by God Himself.
Claiming God’s promises together will unleash His power in your marriage. Here are some ways you can claim God’s promises of …
Answered prayer: Honestly consider what excuses you’ve been using not to pray. Identify the one that’s most obvious in your life, and ask God to help you overcome it. Make a list of people and things for which to pray. Then record answers as they come. Memorize one of the Scripture verses that describes God’s promise to answer prayer (such as Matthew 7:7-8). Talk and listen to God throughout your day, even in the car and the shower. Commit to praying with your spouse daily. Set an initial goal of praying together for five minutes each day, then gradually increase that time as appropriate.
Change: Know that God isn’t interested in preserving the status quo; He specializes in bringing about transformation. Ask yourself and your spouse: “How has my life changed since accepting Christ?” and “How has my marriage changed since becoming a Christian?”. Thank God for those changes. Then ask, “What further changes does God want me to make in my life that will better reflect that I am His child?” Ask God for help to make those changes. Finally, ask your spouse or another trusted person to share any positive changes he or she has observed in your character or conduct recently, and what changes you may still need to make.
Comfort: Rely on God’s comfort when you’re suffering. Know that He is always available to help you, no matter what your circumstances. Trust that God will also use your pain as tools to bring about positive growth in your life; ask Him to reveal what He wants you to learn from your troubles. Develop a compassionate heart for other people and share the comfort God has given you with them – through encouraging words, acts of kindness, hugs, etc. Don’t lecture, sermonize, accuse, or criticize hurting people. Instead, remember when you were hurting yourself and recall how God encouraged you. Keep in mind that hard times can deepen your faith, teach you patience, develop your maturity, build your wisdom, force you to pray, and remind you of what’s truly important.
Completion: Trust that God will continue to work in your life until He has completed all the good work He has begun in you. Take heart that God isn’t finished with either you or your spouse. View yourselves as works in progress. Pray about your specific needs individually and as a couple. Make every effort to grow continuously in your walk with God, and be confident of His help to do so.
Courage: Know that God will give you the courage you need for whatever battles you face – in your marriage, and elsewhere. Read your Bible daily, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Decide to stand up for Christ in public, at work, and at home. Strive to model godly character to one another and others, fulfill your role in your family, guide your family out of worldliness and into holiness, speak up for morality at your children’s school(s), and live a consistent life for Christ, regardless of the cost. Discuss your fears with your spouse and support each other in prayer for newfound courage.
Deliverance: Expect temptations as a normal part of life in our fallen world. Know that God promises to help you avoid giving into temptation by providing a way to escape it before it hurts you. Be aware of people or situations that tempt you – a shortcut, an attractive man or woman, a bigger house, etc. Run from your areas of weakness. Pray before you act. Read God’s Word. Consider the consequences of giving into specific temptations. Build a support system of other Christians who can encourage you and keep you accountable.
Forgiveness: Know that the forgiveness God gives is complete and permanent. You can’t ever use it up. It’s meant to be shared (since God has forgiven you, show mercy to your spouse and others). It changes you. Regularly confess your sins to God, accept His forgiveness, embrace His mercy, and trust that He will help you move on with a clean slate and second chances. Make a list of the people you need to forgive, then pray about each one. Make another list of the people you have wronged, beginning with your spouse. Take the first step to make things right between you and each person you’ve hurt. Let go of bitterness and embrace kindness. Praise God for the gift of forgiveness.
Grace: Trust that God’s grace is sufficient for your salvation and to shape you and your spouse into the people He wants you to be. Rely on God’s grace to see you through any trial you experience. Thank God that you are under grace and not the law. Extend grace to your spouse and others by sharing the gospel, showing forgiveness, and shouldering their burdens.
Guidance: Depend on God for the knowledge and wisdom to know what to do in all situations. Recognize the limitations of your own wisdom. Always seek God’s will, for decisions both great and small. Examine the values and priorities you and your spouse have, and seek to align them with God’s. Use your God-given abilities to reason, but never rely solely on your own reason; consult God, one another, and other people. Listen to wise advice and be willing to be corrected. Be patient and wait to act until God’s will becomes clear to you.
Hope: You can be confident that God is working out His good plans for your marriage and your entire life. Know that the hope God offers you is real because it’s grounded in His power. Realize that He can transform even the most tragic situations to help you grow. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by something in life, remember God’s words of hope and encouragement in His Word. Trust in God’s faithfulness. Recall how God has come through for you in the past. Rejoice that, no matter how bad things become, God has a plan for good and will be with you in your every hour of need.
Life: Understand that life is offered only in Jesus, is found only in Jesus, and is abundant because of Jesus – right here and now, and also in the life to come after you leave this world. If you haven’t already, begin an eternal relationship with Jesus by asking Him to be your Lord and Savior. Live each day with all your heart, recognizing that it is a valuable gift. Be grateful to be alive. Don’t worry about losing eternal life once you have it, because nothing can snatch you out of Jesus’ hands once you’ve truly given your life to Him. Share the good news of God’s gift of life with other people.
Love: Since God chooses to love you no matter what, choose to love your spouse and other people no matter what. Decide to serve God and others. Look for opportunities to do so. Stay close to God through prayer and a pure life of obedience so His love will flow freely through your heart to others. Make love your highest goal. Enjoy acting in love often!
-Powerful Promises for Every Couple (Elizabeth George)